Transactions Anytime Anywhere Sans the Wallet

Easy Money
Image by Doug88888

Traditional methods of credit card payment and mobile payment are shifting. The $15 trillion electronic payment market will continue to evolve, and our wallets will disappear, slowly but surely.

Point of sale is no longer the domain of a physical location, and not even necessarily a function of swiping a card on a mobile reader, such as Square or competing devices. Logging in provides a quicker way to buy and leave, simplifying customer experiences.

PayPal unveiled a new series of traditional and mobile APIs at SxSW last weekend that empowers developers to incorporate payment functionality in any media form.

In theory, with log-ins added to the equation, events, apps or any other kind of device can complete business as necessitated by situation and customer preference.  This new transactional evolution empowers commerce in mobile or stationary environments.

One can see web site developers have a new set of requirements developing on the horizon. Not only do they need to incororate social and mobile into design, but now another new element enters the picture, the transaction.

I chatted with PayPal CTO James Barrese at a company sponsored dinner on Saturday night. We discussed the company’s new global payment network design, and its potential dynamic impact on companies and nonprofits.

The company plans to continue updating its API set, and working with its merchant channels to activate pay anytime, anywhere functionality. PayPal agggressively upped the ante in the game that Square and Braintree started, empowering organizations to provide customer transactions on any device in real time.

It’s not really surprising to see this evolution, something environed in almost every kind of hard science fiction novel. But now doing business changes for everyone, not just micromerchants on the run, but even large companies and major sporting event venues.

The concept of the customer experience now expands, becoming fluid and more dynamic. Mobility glues the experience together from store to automobile.

Thanks to API driven transactions businesses can create their own forms of transactions, customized to their unique experiences. But to differentiate, businesses increasingly need developers to build those experiences. The cross pollination of technology-based start-ups and traditional business continues, a movement typified by deals and partnerships such as Avis’s aquisition of Zip Car.

In the end, the big winner in this equation is the customer (Hopefully, depending on transacation fees). This can only create more choices, new experiences, different venues, and faster service.

The losers? Perhaps the traditional financial institions, networks like Visa, Mastercard and American Express, but only if they don’t flatten their payment choices. But even the traditional networks are making moves to become more fluid and mobile.

What do you think about anytime, anywhere transactions?